In a recently concluded study by Velocity MR to assess online shopping experiences and the volume of fake or counterfeit products in circulation, it appears a third of the online shopping public have fallen prey to counterfeits over the years. The study covered a total sample size of 3000 respondents from key Indian metropolises including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad & Pune. It is estimated that about 4-5% of businesses in India lose to fraudsters each year in online shopping. There are a variety of fraudulent activities in the e-tailing business, one such being 'Fake Products' under the pretext of originals. This not only causes monetary loss but also jeopardises the goodwill of the original player.
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“The online retail market in India is expected to touch $100 billion by 2020, and $200 by 2026. It is estimated to grow at a whopping rate of 30% annually, and hence India is dubbed as the fastest growing e-tail market in the world. The growing Internet penetration, global players, rise in smartphone usage coupled with innovation in mobile technologies, millennial consumers and digital payments is fuelling the growth of the e-commerce market in the country.” said Jasal Shah, Managing Director & CEO of Velocity MR.
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He further added, “E-commerce is increasingly attracting customers from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where people have limited access to brands but have high aspirations. However, this is not free from its share of pitfalls. Even though the e-commerce companies/platforms state a zero tolerance towards any malpractices, however considering the very nature of the business, it would not be possible to maintain a problem free zone. We decided to conduct this study to understand how consumers are facing up to this challenge which is a clouding reality in the online world.”
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The study conducted by the research firm found that one out of three respondents received fakes/counterfeit products while shopping online at some point in time. Brands with higher sales volume have a higher likelihood of fake products passing through their system. Also, despite the highest shopping base, Amazon has nevertheless tried to maintain discipline and good hygiene according to the respondents. The most shopped categories – Fashion, Mobiles & Computers with accessories proved to be the vulnerable categories for counterfeit products.
Interestingly the research also concluded that the majority of online shoppers were found to be technology savvy and use the QR code to identify Fakes/Counterfeit products. However, in spite of a few bitter experiences, trust in the portals remains intact for the shoppers. But they have become more alert, check more details and also compare prices before a purchase.